Keynote and Plenary Speakers

Stefan W. Hell

Stefan W. Hell

Nobel Laureate Professor
Director, Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry
Dept. of NanoBiophotonics
University of Göttingen

Nobel Laureate Dr. Stefan W. Hell pioneered the physical concepts for breaking the diffraction barrier in a microscope using conventional lenses. His innovations include development of STED microscopy and related concepts and discovery of the on-off switching of (fluorescence) signal as key mechanism for overcoming the diffraction resolution limit.

At present Stefan W. Hell is a director at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen, where he leads the Department of NanoBiophotonics. He is an honorary professor of experimental physics at the University of Göttingen and adjunct professor of physics at the University of Heidelberg. Since 2003, he also led the Optical Nanoscopy division at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg.

Stefan W. Hell received his diploma (1987) and doctorate (1990) in physics from the University of Heidelberg. From 1991 to 1993 he worked at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, also in Heidelberg, and followed with stays as a senior researcher at the University of Turku, Finland, between 1993 and 1996, and as a visiting scientist at the University of Oxford, England, in 1994. In 1997 he was appointed to the MPI for Biophysical Chemistry in Göttingen as a group leader and was promoted in 2002 to director.

Stefan W. Hell is credited with having conceived, validated and applied the first viable concept for overcoming Abbe’s diffraction-limited resolution barrier in a light-focusing fluorescence microscope. For this accomplishment he has received several awards: most recently he shared the 2014 Kavli Prize in Nanoscience and the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.